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Full text of "NightRider"

n6

before, speaking fluently, confidentially, with his head bowed
a little and his hands clasped behind his back. He was glad,
he said, to see that Mr. Munn had backed Captain Todd's
motion to draw up a public statement condemning the anony-
mous letter to Mr. Sullins. He was glad that he felt so keenly
the danger oŁ engendering ill feeling and thoughtless passion
IE any controversial movement such as the Association was.
"We must be reasonable," he asserted, "and must try to
keep the extreme sentiment of the Association under control."

"I haven't observed anything very extreme," Mr. Munn
said almost diffidently. "That letter, now, I wonder how
much that really means. Just a sort of accident, not a senti-
ment"

" Oh, not that kind of extremism, even. I don't necessarily
mean that. Though in any popular movement there is a
tendency toward extreme action that you don't see. That
only needs a leader. They say a ship can burn for days and
not much harm done until somebody opens a hatch and the
air strikes. A leader is like that, he just opens a hatch, We
must guard against the development of any such sentiment.
We must keep the hatches down, so to speak. Now take
Bill, for instance. I never knew a finer man than Bill Chris-
tian, Great sincerity and great strength of character. But
he is sometimes given to violent speech. A kind of noble
rage, you might say. But he speaks now, not as an indi-
vidual but as a representative of something bigger than any
individual, bigger that he is, or you, or I. He speaks with
more than personal authority. And there is no telling what
a chance word of random violence or exaggerated feeling
might start, what train of thought that might in the end
mean action to be regretted by all. And by him most of
all, perhaps."

The Senator lifted his eyes and looked oft across the slope
toward the little group of figures. Mr. Christian and the
itst were near the house now. " Of course, what I am saying
is confidential," the Senator went on, " and I say it in all
toyalty, I simply say it to you, my boy, because you are one